I saw a movie yesterday that shocked me. In a good way.
The main actress was someone I had only seen on the Disney Channel and I confess that I had very low expectations, but I watched anyway because as you probably know by now, I am a huge teenage movie fan.
“The Edge of Seventeen” is an excellent coming-of-age story, produced in a surprisingly mature and meaningful way.
In my opinion, it revealed the true nature of what’s like to go through a depression during your teenage years.
If you have never been through depression imagine what it feels like when you're at your lowest point possible. When you feel like you want to give up on everything and everyone just for a second.
Now imagine feeling that way every day. And times it by a hundred.
When speaking of teenage depression, times that by a thousand.
Going through adolescence is in itself an extremely confusing and excruciatingly convoluted time. When everything about your body is changing and you can barely control your emotions let alone your reactions.
When I was around 10 years old, I was the (almost) perfect child; extremely close to my mum, got great grades and was extremely introverted. By the time I hit 12 years old, I had done a complete 180. I was not recognisable.
I went through a skater phase, then punk, then goth and by the time I was 13 I had become extremely ghetto. I didn’t know where I fit in or who I was supposed to be. I knew that there were other girls I looked up to. I wanted to be like them. And my style, attitude, values and personality changed depending on who I was with. I had friends of all different kinds and with each one, I adapted my behaviour.
Although I know that, most of the time, I was probably pretending. I can’t be honest if I say that I was me (or different versions of me) at all times, but now I admit that it did teach me to adapt to any given situation or person.
I can say that the lowest point of my life was definitely at 13 years old, which is funny because people never give much credit to a teenager’s problems. But I know better.
As a teenager, you are so much more sensitive to your surroundings, influences and changes, that I think people should take them very seriously. All of the issues you hear about in regards to teenagers are serious issues.
Anorexia. Bulimia. Self-harm. Suicide.
No matter how much you may think teenagers are just children, they aren’t. They have problems just as much, or even more than grown-ups do. And they are even more susceptible.
At 13 years old, I began drinking, smoking, making myself throw up, self-harming and even considering thoughts of suicide. These aren’t children’s problems.
I can still remember looking in the mirror and hating myself so much I wanted to claw out my face in the mirror. Scratch at it until it wasn’t me anymore.
The thought of being me for the rest of my life made me want to die.
At one point, I hated leaving the house because in my head I thought that people were going to look at me and see just how ugly I was. I thought everyone was laughing at me.
The Edge of Seventeen reminded me very much of those days. It reminded me of how I thought everyone was against me and no one loved me. They claimed they did…but I knew better.
In some ways, they should make more movies like these. 10 years later, it allowed me to see through someone else’s eyes, exactly who I used to be. And made aware that there are a lot more people who have gone, are going or will go through what I went through.
And that is a scary thought.
If I went through everything I did, at a time where there was no social media, no Facebooks and Instagrams and Twitters and Snapchats…I can only begin to imagine what teenagers go through these days.